Harrowing echoes of a stolen childhood
Dominic Cavendish reviews Kindertransport at the Hampstead gold pandora charms theatre
Of all the fates that befell German Jewish children under the pandora charms buy Nazis, evacuation to England would, you'd think, be considered worth celebrating years down the line.
Yet Diane Samuels's play first seen in 1993, revived now by Shared Experience commemorates the Kindertransport, the hasty exodus of about 10,000 children in the wake of Kristallnacht, while accentuating the hardship and heartbreak this brief lived policy of rescue brought with it.
Marion Bailey's formidably uptight, middle class Evelyn has a rather large secret stashed in the cupboards and suitcases of her gloomy suburban attic: a secret about her anglicised identity that her daughter Faith (Lily Bevan), in her early twenties and on the verge of flying the nest, discovers as she riffles through old suitcases and paperwork.
Outraged, Faith demands to know: "Why did you never explain about yourself?"
The answer is played out before our eyes: the present day conversation bleeds into scenes from the past showing Evelyn as a girl, then called Eva (played by Matti Houghton).
Packed off to England pandora charms australia online shopping she suffers the anxiety of abandonment, endures traumatising encounters with German officialdom and faces the culture shock of life in Manchester with foster mum Lil (a kindly, no nonsense Eileen O'Brien).
For her own sake, she has to deals on pandora charms forge a break with the past so complete that even when her real mother Helga arrives to claim her, Eva disowns her.
"Hitler started the job and you finished it," Helga complains in a harrowing scene of mutual recrimination that cuts to the core of how suffering can shape and scar people for life and the lives of generations to come and also puts its finger on the wound that exists, at some level, in all parent child relations.
There's an element of coercion in the writing. It verges on the implausible that so little would have transpired of Faith's provenance until now.
And, while she gets committed performances from a cast of six, director Polly Teale at times lays on the theatrical expressionism too thick.
I could have done with less of the cowled "Ratcatcher", face pulled like the Munch Scream, who stalks the action as a spectral embodiment of primal terrors and stolen childhoods.
Yet there is truth, painful truth, in abundance here; and the sobbing I heard around me in the stalls at Hampstead is enough in itself to illustrate how the now distant separations and griefs of the Holocaust can hit home as hard and as fast as though time had never passed.
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